Today Mitt Romney gave a “foreign policy speech”, repeating the Republicans’ claim that last month’s attack on the embassy in Benghazi is the result of “failed foreign policy” on the part of the Obama Administration.
But a closer look suggests a number of complex factors in play that point to the need for the kind of investigation Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has initiated– a detailed internal review of everything involved in this recent crisis leading up to the attack and its aftermath.
What is telling, of course, is that the opportunistic Republicans have again spun the few facts we have even now, to make it look as though Clinton and her people were asleep on the job, that according only to the Republicans, numerous memos have come to light indicating Ambassador Chris Stevens pled with the State Department for increased security. And additionally, we have the issue of alleged statements to that effect in the personal journal found in the embassy chaff by CNN.
While these things may look like the State Department dropped the ball, before it fires anybody or points the finger at anyone, including Ambassador Susan Rice, who initially stated that the embassy take-out was not the work of terrorists but the direct result of the anti-Islamic video kicking up anger at the U.S. abroad, it needs to be sure it knows the truth, and we need it as well.
Conservative pundits would sneer at my statement. Dick Cheney would rant. Dan Senor, top adviser to Romney who just shouted at Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC even as he gave away Romney’s talking points on foreign policy for the next debate, would further gnash his teeth and rend his suit.
As chairman of the house intelligence committee, Daryl Issa, also true to form, has empaneled an investigation.
Certainly the Romney campaign hopes that making a credible argument for a national security breach will be the October surprise that turns the tide on November 6.
Today I ran across two concerning photographs including this one, in which a man appearing to be a deceased Ambassador Stevens, is being paraded through the streets of Benghazi.
Sources on hand took this photograph, which more than underscores the need for clear-eyed, nonpartisan analysis of the shift in the Arab Spring’s gratitude for our assistance in taking out Gaddafi and precisely what has taken place in the days leading up to the Benghazi incident.
Romney’s foreign policy ideas are superficial, says Madeline Albright, and I would add, rash. This talking point of how under Obama the Administration is leading from behind, that the U.S. should be shaping world events, not reacting to them, is the sort of skewed reasoning that leads us into places and conflicts where we do not belong.
There are many reasons people in the U.S. are angry with the United States. In my view the drone attacks and our absurdly long presence in Afghanistan have done more than the offending video. As I earlier stated, the video was a straw to the camel’s back.
But we cannot afford a hothead in the country’s driver’s seat– particularly someone with zero experience in foreign affairs. What we are hearing from a desperate Romney campaign are extreme, inflammatory statements and spin.
When Andrea Mitchell asked Dan Senor this: “How do you know we are not doing this — helping the Syrian Resistance–covertly?” there was a pregnant pause and a fuzzy answer.
This is what Albright is getting at. Mitt Romney has absolutely no grasp of the nuances of foreign policy, and we cannot afford on the job training for the next U.S. president.